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Announcement:

Moody's assigns positive outlook to Peru's Baa3 rating

Global Credit Research - 21 Mar 2011

New York, March 21, 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service has revised the outlook on Peru's Baa3 foreign- and local-currency government bond ratings to positive from stable. The main drivers for the change in outlook are:

(1) Indications that favorable growth prospects will likely be sustained alongside continued improvement of Peru's fiscal and debt metrics; and

(2) Our expectation of policy continuity and improved predictability as a result of receding political risk.

In addition to placing a positive outlook on Peru's Baa3 government bond ratings, Moody's has also placed a positive outlook on the Baa2 foreign-currency country ceiling and the Baa3 foreign-currency deposit ceiling.

RATING RATIONALE

According to Moody's, the Peruvian economy has continued to show remarkable and enduring dynamism, and is well positioned to grow at rates at or above its potential thanks to increasing investment and strong mining prospects. The private sector has been the main engine of growth, bringing gross investment up to 25% of GDP in 2010 from 20% of GDP in 2009, a trend that is likely to hold up thanks to a sizable pipeline of investment projects that should be coming in line over the next two years.

The Peruvian authorities have shown a steadfast commitment to fiscal discipline despite the temptations of abundance and fiscal complacency, setting Peru apart from other Baa-rated sovereigns. The fiscal deficit for 2010 came in at 0.6% of GDP, despite a waiver from Congress that allowed the government to exceed the 1% fiscal deficit ceiling set by the Fiscal Responsibility Law last year. The government is posed to generate a small fiscal surplus this year, thanks to strong revenues and efforts to further institutionalize fiscal discipline through a provision that forces the authorities to register a fiscal surplus equivalent to at least 2% of annual GDP in the first two quarters of a presidential election year.

Peru's dynamic growth rates and solid fiscal performance have also helped further improve Peru's government debt ratios, placing it as one of the countries with the lowest debt burdens in the Baa range. Additionally, the authorities have continued efforts to improve Peru's sovereign credit profile by reducing the share of foreign currency denominated debt and lengthening Peru's debt maturity profile. While financial dollarization remains high at around 47% of total private sector credit, prudential regulations - including high liquidity requirements on dollar-denominated deposits - limit risks present in the banks' balance sheet, while the central bank's sizable war chest of international reserves, equivalent to almost 30% of GDP, helps mitigate against potential foreign exchange shocks.

The positive outlook recognizes that the threat that an anti-system candidate could derail Peru's current economic path - a longtime constraint of the country's credit rating - has diminished significantly. High growth rates and notable improvements in social indicators have helped generate strong support for the current economic model among Peruvian voters, and, more importantly, among all the leading presidential candidates. In our opinion, even if an anti-system candidate were to be elected president and challenge the current macro-economic policy framework, there would be little leeway to make sharp policy adjustments in the face of strong institutional, market and voter constraints. The next president will confront a highly fragmented and atomized congress that will make it difficult to secure a critical mass of support to alter or dismantle existing spending and deficit limits or the independence of the central bank. Additionally, market and voter constraints would play an equally important role limiting the government's ability to move towards a heterodox policy model without compromising investment and high economic growth, conditions that voters have come to expect.

Moody's will closely monitor (a) the results of this year's presidential elections, and (b) the future government's commitment to maintain a policy framework that further buttresses Peru's investment appeal and economic growth prospects. Depending on the outcome, additional rating actions may be considered over the next six to twelve months.

PREVIOUS RATING ACTION & METHODOLOGY

The last rating action on Peru was taken on December 16 2009, when Moody's upgraded Peru's foreign currency bond ratings from Ba1 to Baa3.

The principal methodology used in this rating was Sovereign Bond Ratings published in September 2008.

New York
Patrick Esteruelas
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Sovereign Risk Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Bart Oosterveld
MD - Sovereign Risk
Sovereign Risk Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's Investors Service
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's assigns positive outlook to Peru's Baa3 rating
No Related Data.
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